Sunday, July 31, 2011

Higgs To Be Confirmed, Or Not

A headline in Christian Science Monitor confidently states:

The God Particle Existence To Be Confirmed by 2012

This refers to the elusive Higgs Boson, whose existence is predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. The term "God Particle" was coined by physicist Leon Lederman in the 1990's while seeking funding for the Superconducting Supercollider. When that project was cancelled by the Clinton administration, it was a huge setback for US science. Physicists had to find work in other fields, like cosmology.

Since SSC was cancelled, the Large Hadron Collider has been built in Europe. Though the headline predicts a discovery, so far LHC has found no Higgs. The phase space it could inhabit has grown smaller. By 2012 LHC may have found no Higgs at all.

In big ticket projects, there is a great danger of overconfidence. Scientists must justify their funding by predicting what they will discover. Gravity Probe B was designed to find evidence of relativistic frame dragging. Though the data proved difficult to separate fr noise, Grav Probe 's operators concluded that they had confirmed relativity. There is great pressure to skew the results toward a preselected discovery.

Since the SSC was cancelled, many physicists moved into studies of the Universe. In the late 1990's they claimed discovery of a repulsive "dark energy" causing the universe to accelerate. Following the habits of Physics, they developed a "standard model" for cosmology. Results of other experiments, such as WMAP, were interpreted as confirming the model. As in the Higgs search, there is great danger of overconfidence. Future experiments may confirm that "standard models" are wrong.

Near Earth Object Discovered


The Lunar Science Forum at NASA Ames finished this week. According to press releases, the new plan is for humans to reach an Near Earth Object by 2025. However the technology needed, such as heavy lift boosters and a crew capsule, is struggling for funding. The challenges of taking a crew millions of miles from Earth are daunting. Studies have found that the NEO's we can reach by 2025 are mostly small, with diameters of 20-40 meters. The public may not be excited about spending billions to reach such small objects. Researchers can point to little science on an NEO that can not be accomplished with unmanned spacecraft. Some doubt if there is a goal at all.

Fortunately NASA has discovered this Near Earth Object only 384,400 kilometers away. It is large enough to support multiple missions. It is known to contain water and other resources that astronauts could exploit. The possible benefits to science would be enormous, from geology to astronomy. As one example, a radio telescope on the far side of this object would be shielded from the electromagnetic noise of Earth. Possibly after looking at more distant NEO's, the US will consider going here first.

As readers of this blog know, the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment (LLRE) has found evidence that light is slowing down as we speak. A simple expression GM=tc^3 predicts that this object 384,400 kilometers away will appear to recede an additional 0.935 cm/yr. Data from LLRE, when compared with other experiments, verifies the prediction more precisley that Mercury's precession. Science has so far overlooked the evidence, even though it stares us in the face each night.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thirty Seconds To Mars dan Ribuan Echelon di JRL2011

Jumat minggu lalu, tanggal 22 Juli 2011, adalah hari pertama digelarnya Javarockingland 2011 bertempat di pantai Carnaval Ancol. pintu gate dibuka sekitar pukul setengah tiga sore. di hari itu saya sudah tidak sabar menunggu penampilan live 30 Seconds to Mars, yang sesuai jadwal akan manggung di Gudang Garam Stage pk 23.00, yang akhirnya diundur menjadi pk 00.45.

karena kondisi badan tidak memungkinkan untuk nongkrong di Ancol lama2, maka saya memutuskan untuk berangkat pk 21.00. setibanya disana, panggung GG sudah penuh dengan Echelon [sebutan untuk fans 30STM] hingga berjarak 4 meter dari panggung. sayang bangeeet saya ga dapet barisan depan :'(

sekitar pukul 00.00 Tria Changcuter dan Yukie Pas Band muncul, bercanda2 dan mengajak Echelon menyanyikan lagu kebangsaan Indonesia Raya. setelah itu Echelon inisiatif menyanyikan Vox Populi, berharap 30STM segera muncul. tapi masih ada 40 menit lagi menuju waktu yang ditentukan. namanya juga euforia mo ketemu band pujaannya :D


tepat pukul 00.45 30STM muncul, Jared Leto menggenakan jaket captain berwarna biru dan kacamata hitam, Shannon Leto kaos tanpa lengan putih, dan Tomo menggunakan jaket hitam berkapucon. Lagu pembuka adalah Beautiful Lie, disusul dengan lagu Attack. and im sorry Jared, saya ga tau lagu ini -pada saat itu-, maklum baru aja gabung sama Echelon.


kemudian Jared melepas jaket birunya dan memainkan Search and Destroy, feeling saya udah gaenak ini. saya sering nonton live 30STM di Youtube, dan biasanya di lagu ini Jared meminta penonton untuk loncat2. dan benaaaaaaaaaaarrrr, udah sempiiitt dan sesak, kiri kanan loncat2 dorong2. astagaaa :P daripada kegencet dan suffocate, saya ikut loncat2 aja haha.. semoga bukan keputusan yang stupid ^^


dilanjut dengan This Is War, penonton semakin bedesakan, mana banyak yang gatau diri nge-shoot handycam tapi sikunya nebeng dipundak orang.. beri saya petunjuk ya Allah, apakah saya harus menyikutnya balik atau mengitik2 atau gimana? -_-! 


ditengah2 pertunjukkan Shannon Leto memainkan gitar akustik, dan lagi2 saya tidak tahu itu lagu apa. but it's okey trima kasih Shannon, dirimu berhasil menenangkan para Echelon.


kemudian, Jared Leto memainkan beberapa lagu akustikan, tidak penuh, tapi apapun yang diminta penonton dinyanyikannya. yang saya ingat saat itu Jared menyanyikan From Yesterday, Alibi, dan Hurricane, sebelum pada akhirnya saya digotong keluar barisan penonton karena....lemas.. :P 


yasudah, nonton dari belakang panggung juga gapapa, saya sudah cukup puas dan capek.


penampilan 30STM ditutup dengan lagu Kings and Queens, beberapa penonton diajak naik ke atas panggung untuk menyanyi bersama. ini juga salah satu kebiasaannya 30STM. dan Jared terlihat sedikit panik saat penonton berhamburan naik keatas panggung. saya hanya bisa tertawa melihat kekhawatirannya, tapi semuanya bisa diatasi. Echelon harus membanggakan lah ya.


secara keseluruhan, penampilan 30STM seruuu!! baru kali ini saya ngerasain nonton musik rock yang penontonnya penuh antusias dan energi. kalau mereka datang lagi ke Indo, me absolutely desire to watch the show. tapi tidak di barisan tengah ^^ 





Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lunar Science Forum

42 years ago today Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon! Today I'm at NASA Ames in California for the Lunar Science Forum and other meetings. The main question, as it has been for decades, is when will humans return to the Moon?

Thursday, July 7, 2011